Meal Inspiration and Ideas
When choosing drinks, water is the best choice to offer your children. Milk can be offered as an alternative, but if your child is older than 2, go for the reduced-fat variety.
Juice, Energy drinks, soft drinks are all classified as occasional foods, that is because they are high in sugar. If you choose to offer the above drinks, try reducing the quantity provided or dilute the juice with some water.
Whole fruit is best to offer your children as they get the fibre content as well.
Meals at home
Mealtimes can be challenging for you and your family. Always remember it can take several tries to introduce a new food and food preferences change regularly.
A child uses all of their senses when eating, they see, touch, smell and taste. It is important to offer your child a range of nutrient rich foods throughout the day.
Tips for parents
- Be patient and persist with offering new foods
- Buy food whole foods e.g. fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meats, protein alternatives and dairy.
- Make the meal look like a rainbow, the more fruits and vegetables the better.
- Include foods which are as close to natural as possible, it will also have fewer kilojoules, salt, fat and sugar.
- Offer different textures of food to your children. Try grating, mashing and pureeing.
- Limit adding extra salt, sugar and fat to meals.
Make your own home made treats or look at labels to pick a healthier alternative. Try introducing healthy snacks as the first option.
Recreating the magic at home
When having meals with your children and family, you want it to create a positive experience. This increases the positive association of mealtimes.
Tips for Parents
- Have a BBQ or picnic outside, or in the lounge room when the weather is unpleasant.
- Use fruits and vegetable that is in season, not only will it taste better but will save you money also.
- Experiment with using fresh herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of the food rather than salt, sugar or fat.
- It may not be possible for your child to have a meal at the same time you do, eating something is more important than the social interaction. There will be other opportunities to include this.
- Make a homemade family feast experience for your family. Involving your children in the shopping or cooking process. Why not have a homemade pizza/ sushi where your children can pick ingredients or make their own.
- Avoid using food as a reward. As alternative, suggest spending time with your children and doing things together, a walk, a bike ride, make a sticker chart, and visit the beach, dance in the living room. Time spent with your children is the biggest reward they could have.
Other Related Topics
When: 30 Mar, 9:30am
Birth to 4 months: A 5-week series of workshops for parents with a newborn baby. Each workshop covers a wide range of topics about you and your new baby and provides the opportunity to meet and connect with other new parents in your local area.